parenting is sanctifying

I am only 11-months into being a parent. Already my little girl is teaching me many things about God:

1. Giving up rights of sleep and other freedoms are just temporary sacrifices but big opportunities to invest in a new life.

Parenting is a temporary stewardship, which I think also means a temporary loss of sleep. I remember the first few days when we brought her home from the hospital and she would cry through the night. Sarah and I would take turns rocking her to sleep. In those frustrating moments God would remind me how dependent and needy I was, just like my little balling baby girl.

2. The work does not end when I get home from the office, it just begins.

The most important work is when I get home with my family. I do not have the right to take it easy or have a break. Passive homes lead to passive kids.

3. It is a joy to watch my wife morph into a mom.

She is becoming the most beautiful mom in the world. I love watching her teach, sing, and disciple one daughter, who now thinks she’s cool with her new tooth.

“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children–how on the day that you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, the LORD said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so.’” – Deuteronomy 4:9-10

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thumb lick thursday [3.31.11]

Lick it, flip it, clip it, quote it. A thumb lick is a term used to describe the action taken when turning the page of a book. While reading I often find great one-liners, statements and paragraphs that are golden nuggets of biblical wisdom. So Thumb Lick Thursday is a way to pass along great tidbits of truth.

Is Mandated Bible Reading Healthy for Kids?

This is probably one of the most common questions  I hear from parents wanting to establish Christian disciplines in their kids. Every Christian parent deals with this at some point. They struggle with what they should mandate vs just encourage their kids to do. And with this, how much? At what point will we defeat our purpose and discourage them?

Hope for hurting marriages

There are far too many marriages in our Churches and communities that are hanging together by very thin threads. When marriages are like this, patterns of neglect are almost always part of the reason. It takes commitment and work for a marriage to be the mutually satisfying relationship it was intended to be (Note: 5 key commitments for a good marriage).

Worth-ship

Worship is “worth-ship”, an acknowledgement of the worth of Almighty God…It is therefore impossible for me to worship God and yet not care two cents whether anybody else worships Him too…Worship does not beget witness is hypocrisy. We cannot acclaim worth of God if we have no desire to proclaim it. – John Stott, Our Guilty Silence. 27-28

Suffering & Death

The Greatest single secret of evangelistic or missionary effectiveness is the willingness to suffer and die. It may be a death to popularity (by fatefully preaching the unpopular biblical gospel), or to pride (by the use of modest methods in reliance on the Holy Spirit), or to radical and national prejudice (by identification with another culture), or to material comfort (by adopting a simpler lifestyle). But the servant must suffer if he is to bring light to the nations, and the seed must die if it is to multiply. – John Stott, The Cross of Christ, Leicester: IVP, and Downers Grove, IL. 1986. 322.

What are you Sinking about?

It is easy for communication to be lost in translation. This commercial by the German Coast Guard and their new recruit emphasize this point.

Justus Joanna Hutts

God brought into the world our first child, Justus Joanna Hutts. She came at 4:28AM Monday weighing 7.4lbs and measuring 20in. Mama had a great delivery and is resting well. Justus is a hungry little hippo. I think she already has a Hutts nose!?

Where did we get her name?

Justus comes from a character in the Bible who is described as a worshiper of God [Acts 18:7]. We hope this will not only be her name, but the shape of her soul. Justice is also one of our most favorite characteristics of God. It is a profound word that carries weight and honor, which we hope to instill within our child.

Joanna is a mixture of two amazing women in our lives. Joanne, Sarah’s mother and Joan, grandmother of Justin.

T – 3 months = baby

Mama Hutts belly is growing and growing. Right now it looks like a seedless watermelon is growing in Sarah’s tummy. It is amazing to feel the headbutts and crazy kickboxing at random moments day or night [not so sure mama likes it so much though]. To think that in a matter of three months a little miracle will come screaming into the world astonishes our socks off.

I really look forward to being a daddy. Here are a few realities that excite me about being a father:

Disciplining my child into a faithful follower of Christ. Sharing the gospel story with my children brings me the most excitement. Sarah and I have been praying long before we found out that she was pregnant that our children will exceed us as parents in living faithfully for God. This is a huge parenting priority, but its a load we do not bear alone.

Taking my child fishing. Last week, I spent time with my dad and brother fishing in northern Wisconsin. I learned how to fish as a kid because of the patience training of my father. Even if my child does not like to fish, just being able to spend quality time with them will be a treasure.

my most favorite book

Reading and telling stories. We already have a stash accumulating of our favorite children’s books and stories for bedtime, car trips, camp fires, and more. Not to mention all the stories to share about baby Hutts’ journey, mom and dad’s histories, and memories of those who have come before baby Hutts. [Note: You can help towards our book and story collection at our Amazon baby registry or for other baby items Target. Also Sarah’s baby shower is September 11 at BGBC]

Growing deeper in love with my wife. My wife will be a wonderful mother. I know this because she is an amazing wife and has a tremendous love for little ones. There are certainly unforeseen challenges and curve balls that we will learn about one another as a child is brought into our family. Yet the newness of parenthood I foresee strengthening our love for one another.

There is so much more that excites me that soon will be a reality. It is good that God gives you 9 months to stew over parenting.

baby Hutts’ first glamour shot

Nothing glamorous about the photo other than the glamorous price tag! Ultra sounds today are really neat with 3D effects. Sarah and I got to see every part of baby Hutts inside mama’s belly.

Is baby Hutts a boy or girl? That is a good question. One dad cannot answer here for you. You see, mama Hutts does not know yet. When the ultrasound tech was searching around the significant parts mom looked away and only dad got to see the money shot. Fun-loving mama Hutts wants to play a little game: how many people can Justin tell before Sarah finds out? So far it is working in Justin’s favor. If you want to find out you will have to contact me. Shh…please keep it a secret from Sarah.

Definite observations about baby Hutts [after 5 months]:

  • definitely has a Polish nose like dad.
  • definitely going to a dancer or runner with big kickin’ clod hoppers!
  • definitely a ham like mama
  • definitely cutest baby ever [of course].